One Unhappy Bride!

A young couple got married and left 
on their honeymoon.

When they got back, the bride immediately 

called her mother. Her mother asked, 
"How was the honeymoon?"

"Oh, mama," she replied, "the honeymoon 
was wonderful! So romantic..."

Suddenly she burst out crying. "But, mama, 
as soon as we returned Sam started using 
the most horrible language... things I'd never 
heard before! I mean, all these awful 4 letter 
words! You've got to come get me and take 
me home.... Please mama!"

"Sarah, Sarah," her mother said, "calm down! 
Tell me, what could be so awful? What 4-letter 

"Please don't make me tell you, mama," 
wept the daughter, "I'm so embarrassed 
they're just too awful! Come get me, please!"

"Darling, baby, you must tell me what has you 
so upset.... Tell your mother these horrible 
4-letter words!"

Still sobbing, the bride said, "Oh, mama...
words like DUST, WASH, IRON, COOK...!"


Dr. Al Mohler said...

Must One Believe in the Resurrection to be a Christian?

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2008 at 3:20 am ET

This was the question asked for the end of the past week by the editors of The Washington Post and Newsweek for the "On Faith" conversation. Here was the question as stated by the editors: Do you have to believe the resurrection is literally true -- that Jesus came back to life in his body -- to be a Christian?

A similarly framed question is often asked about various Christian doctrines and such questions are unavoidable. If the word "Christian," used as a noun, is to mean anything, it must be defined -- and the definition must include some essential doctrinal elements. The New Testament leaves no choice here, for essential beliefs are explicitly mentioned within the Bible's presentation of the Gospel.

On this essential question -- Do you have to believe the resurrection is literally true -- that Jesus came back to life in his body -- to be a Christian? -- the Bible is actually very clear.

As I said in my On Faith column [see full text here]:

The literal, historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the vindication of Christ's saving work on the cross. The issue is simple -- no resurrection, no Christianity. For this reason, belief in the resurrection of Christ is essential in order to be a Christian.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central miracle of the Christian faith. As the New Testament reveals, the resurrection represents the Father's complete satisfaction in the obedience of the Son -- even unto death. Sin and death do not have the final word. Indeed, they are defeated through the saving work of Christ. . . .

As Paul well understood, Christianity stands or falls with the empty grave. If Christ is not raised, we are to be pitied, for our faith is in vain. Those who would preach a resurrectionless Christianity have substituted the truth of the gospel for a lie. But, asserted Paul, Christ is risen from the dead. Our faith is not in vain, but is in the risen Lord. He willingly faced death on a cross and defeated death from the grave. The Resurrection is the ultimate sign of God's vindication of His Son.

The great good news of the resurrection is this -- those who come to Christ by faith will share in His victory over sin and death. Belief in the resurrection of Christ is clearly essential in order for one to be a Christian. The Christian church has understood this from the beginning, and the Apostle Paul left no room for doubt when he declared that those who are saved are those who confess with their lips that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead [Romans 10:9].

There were other significant responses. Bishop N. T. Wright argued for the resurrection as a "concrete" event in history and as the central affirmation of Christ's victory, but did not actually answer the question as asked. Oddly, Michael Otterson, Media Relations Director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said: "To take the resurrection out of Christianity is to gut the Christian faith of much of its hope and promise." Much? The Apostle Paul said it would remove all hope and promise from the Christian faith. What do Mormons believe would be left?

Interestingly, Deepak Chopra, the New Age president of the Alliance for a New Humanity, made this claim: I think there are three ways to interpret the Resurrection and remain Christian in every sense of the word. 1. Jesus of Nazareth literally arose from the dead. 2. The divine Resurrection as the core of Christian theology. 3. The resurrection of the spirit whenever a person attains higher consciousness.

Now, Chopra writes as one who knows he is "someone outside the Christian faith," but what makes his point so interesting is that it is almost precisely the argument made by liberal Protestant theology -- that it is enough to believe that the Apostles experienced a special consciousness of the risen Christ.

In a set of parallel articles at "On Faith," various figures spoke of what the claim of the resurrection means to them. Unsurprisingly, retired Bishop John Shelby Spong said more about what he does not believe -- another testimony to liberal theology: I do not believe that the deceased body of Jesus was resuscitated physically on the third day and was restored to the life of this world as, at least, the later gospels assert, but I do believe that in him and through him people found a way into that which is eternal and so they portrayed him as breaking through and transcending the limits of death.

Spong said he was speaking "for those people who are committed to the Jesus experience, but because they are citizens of the 21st Century cannot twist their minds into First Century pretzels in order to say "I believe" to the traditional explanations offered by the biblical writers."

Well, at least he is strangely if boldly honest. The choice is between John Shelby Spong and the Apostle Paul. A choice this clear is truly a gift.

Professor Howdy said...

The Passion in Music
Chuck Colson

For nearly two millennia, the Gospels' passion narratives have inspired memorable works of art, the most recent example being Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.

Gibson acknowledged this artistic tradition when he said that he wanted his film to be a "Caravaggio in motion." His reference was to the sixteenth-century painter whose use of contrasting light and dark gave his depiction of biblical scenes a sense of urgency and intensity.

It's almost impossible to imagine the history of Western painting without the art inspired by the Passion. Da Vinci, Tintoretto, Giotto, and El Greco are but a few of the great artists whose definitive works depict the events of Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

What's true of painting is certainly also true of music. Johann Sebastian Bach set the passion narratives in Mark, Matthew, and John to music. Unfortunately only the latter two survive. Of these, it is his St. Matthew's Passion that sits atop the Western musical canon.

First performed on Good Friday of 1729, the work is almost sacred opera. Soloists sing the words of Jesus, Judas, and Pilate, while another soloist, called the "Evangelist," narrates the story. These interactions are punctuated by choral settings of well known hymns.

What you are about to hear is one of these chorales based on a hymn that is as familiar to you as it was to those who first heard the work. [To listen to excerpt, listen to this commentary online.]

Two-and-a-half centuries later, another Christian composer, Arvo Pärt, set John's Passion to music. The influential music magazine Gramophone called the result, Passio, a work "that transcends the doubt and nihilism of [our] age. …"

While Bach and Pärt are telling the same story and share the same faith, the results are very different. One reviewer has characterized Passio as a music of "massive stillness." Whereas "Bach celebrated the human voice for its expressiveness, Part turns it into an instrument." [To listen to excerpt, listen to this commentary online.]

Bach's expressiveness and Pärt's stillness combine to help the listener more fully appreciate what happened on that first Good Friday. That's why Christians owe it to themselves to become better acquainted with their work and the other art inspired by the Passion—art that can help us transcend the doubt and nihilism of our age.

© 2008 Prison Fellowship

BreakPoint is a daily commentary on news and trends from a Christian perspective. Heard on more than 1000 radio outlets nationwide, BreakPoint transcripts are also available on the Internet. BreakPoint is a production of The Wilberforce Forum, a division of Prison Fellowship: 1856 Old Reston Avenue, Reston, VA 20190.

Find this article at:

Professor Howdy said...

"Κοιτάξτε! Εδώ στέκομαι στην πόρτα και τον κτύπο. Εάν με ακούτε και ανοίξετε την πόρτα, θα μπώ, και θα μοιραστούμε ένα γεύμα ως φίλους." - Ιησούς, Χριστός, Messiah, Θεός

Professor Howdy said...

After a failed stimulus, Mr. Obama is trying to ram through more stimulus. He attacks Republicans for thwarting his latest effort. He conveniently — and dishonestly — leaves off that his latest effort died in the Senate, which is controlled by his own party. It was Democratic defections that killed the bill.

Professor Howdy said...

Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm, out there on another bus tour wasting precious fuels, polluting the skies, ruining the climate, when all he would have to do is walk to the Capitol. All he needs is votes from Democrats in the Senate. If he really wants to pass this boondoggle of a jobs bill, just walk across the Capitol, get over there to the Senate, and get those two extra votes. Voila, done! But, no, he has to get in a Canadian-made bus and drive all over North Carolina.

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